Katherine Purchase awarded as the conference’s brightest young star
Still in the midst of her first year at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business, it wouldn’t be unfair to refer to Katherine Purchase as a rookie, at least academically speaking.
On the ice, however, the accounting major’s rookie campaign is complete. And boy, was it ever a great one.
Last week, Purchase’s first Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) season was marked with a high honour, as she was named the 2014-15 Conference Rookie of the Year.
“It means a lot. This year went so much better than expected so to have an award for that is just the cherry on top. It’s surreal,” Purchase said.
The 18-year-old goalie posted a 1.07 goals against average and a .959 save percentage in 11 games played—the best in women’s hockey in Canada. Although her stats speak loud enough, Purchase credits the Stingers defensive unit for executing their defensive zone coverage with great mobility, and continued to speak passionately about her locker room company.
“I really love the group of girls on our team. I think we have a great team dynamic and everyone is just so supportive of each other. We all trust and believe in each other. We believe in ourselves as a team and know we could beat the top teams,” she said.
Purchase feels as though the room doesn’t allow for much negativity and credits the team morale towards a light environment, one she believes allowed her to mesh with her teammates. Being the youngest amongst the rest of the Stingers hockey club, Purchase expressed her feelings of intimidation, but the Stingers family-first approach gave her the welcome and encouragement she needed to move forward and ultimately perform at a high-level.
Purchase has also been known for her determination and hard work ethic. She is a top student at Concordia University with a 4.3 GPA and firmly believes that her principles in the classroom overlap onto the ice.
“It’s a mindset. When I go to school I want to make sure that I understand everything. I strive to get A-pluses, I don’t try to coast. It’s the same with hockey, it coincides. I don’t like to coast, I want to try to be the best and to try and reach my ceiling and go beyond that,” said Purchase.
The Halifax native trains extensively to keep-up with the rest of the team by never wasting a minute and taking advantage of every opportunity that is presented to her. She even goes as far as watching old reels of herself in effort to rectify mistakes and improve on understanding the game from every angle.
“I trained really hard over the summer because I knew that university girls are really in-shape and I wanted to get to that level because I didn’t want to fall behind further than everyone else,” said Purchase.
“I love being on the ice, I love practices, and I never want to waste ice-time. I try to make the most of every minute and try to improve as best as I can in that timeframe,” she added.
Her passion for the game stems from her mother, an inspiration she believes was the reason why she got into hockey in the first place. Purchase began playing hockey at the age of nine, but decided to put her faith in being a full time goalie at 12.
Despite losing in the first round of the playoffs to Université de Montréal, Purchase believes that the Stingers hockey program is on the rise and is optimistic about next season.
“Things are really looking up for the team next year. Our goals are only going to be a little bit higher, we’ll probably strive to place as a top-tier team.”